A man gunned down in his vehicle on an Inglewood street was described as a “gentle giant” and a loving father for an infant daughter on a memorial page posted on Facebook.
The page, set up by Courtney Brooke, of Edmonton, says Brandon Neil Prevey was a “man with a huge heart who would go above and beyond to help those he cared for.”
Dozens of photos are featured, many showing Prevey cradling his daughter.
But there is a much darker side to the heavily tattooed man whose nickname was Commando. Red Deer RCMP say he was known to them, but have declined to elaborate further other than to say they are investigating whether his death is linked to drugs or gangs.
In Edmonton, media reported that Prevey and another man had been charged with second-degree murder in 2005 after Kenyon Joseph Gardiner was stabbed to death at a house party.
Prevey and Steven Anthony Pillon both pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and were sentenced in January 2007 to a year in jail.
An Alberta Justice spokeswoman said Prevey had not been charged with anything else since then.
Prevey was sitting in his vehicle parked on Ibbotson Close when he was shot and killed about 3 a.m. on Sunday. An autopsy was to be performed in Calgary but results have not yet been released.
Police are searching for a small black car, but no descriptions of suspects have been released and police are saying very little about the crime.
Neighbours on the street lined with new mid-market homes said there was a suspected drug house at one end of the street, which drew a lot of police attention.
“(Police cars) come through here often and they also parked over there often,” said a woman, who asked that she be identified only as Kelly.
The house also drew a steady string of vehicles through the back alley.
Kelly said was woken up by the sound of three gunshots and saw a fast-looking black car go by. “It was loud, so it had been souped up.”
There were a number of people gathered near the vehicle where the man was killed before the shots. “There was a lot of talking, but it didn’t really wake me up.”
After hearing the shots, she looked outside but initially found it hard to believe there was a shooting. When she saw that the vehicle’s driver’s side window was shattered, her fears were confirmed.
“It’s kind of freaky, that’s for sure.”
Another resident near the scene is troubled that such violence was brought so close to home.
“I guess it really didn’t hit me until last night. It sunk in that this is real.
“You get so desensitized with television and news broadcasts that when something like this happens in your backyard, it takes a while to sink in.”
The man said he didn’t hear the shots but came to his door to investigate a loud ruckus in the street. At first he thought it was a fight, but it was soon apparent something more serious had happened.
“I said (to his wife), there’s something really wrong there.”
The quiet street was soon filled with police cars.